Groundbreaking artificial intelligence technology used to de-age actors in real-time will be featured in a new Tom Hanks and Robin Wright film directed by Robert Zemeckis, which takes place in a single room over thousands of years.
Metaphysic, the AI-tech-based company, announced Tuesday to The Hollywood Reporter that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Creative Artist Agency (CAA) to develop generative AI tools and services for talent, which would first be featured in a Richard McGuire graphic novel adaption titled “Here.”
“With the support of CAA and by working on projects like Here, Metaphysic is demonstrating the transformative power of hyperreal AI to shape the future of entertainment and to eventually help people create AI-generated, photorealistic immersive content while they own and control their data,” Tom Graham, Metaphysic CEO and co-founder, told the entertainment news outlet.
The film takes place in one room and follows many of its inhabitants over thousands of years, from the past to the future.
Graham and Metaphysic co-founder Chris Ume, who will serve as AI supervisor, shocked audiences around the world last year after debuting the high-resolution photorealistic face swaps and de-aging effects technology on America’s Got Talent, which featured a deepfake of the show’s host Simon Cowell performing “You’re the Inspiration.”
The company first went viral in 2021 after turning actor Miles Fisher into superstar Tom Cruise using an AI avatar called DeepTomCruise on a TikTok channel.
Zemeckis told The Hollywood Reporter that using technology to help tell stories has always attracted him.
“With Here, the film simply wouldn’t work without our actors seamlessly transforming into younger versions of themselves. Metaphysic’s AI tools do exactly that, in ways that were previously impossible,” Zemeckis said. “Having tested every flavor of face replacement and de-aging technology available today, Metaphysic are clearly the global leaders in feature-quality AI content and the perfect choice for this incredibly challenging, emotional film.”
Visual effects supervisor for the production Kevin Baillie told the entertainment news outlet AI-technology also serves as a “youth mirror” for the actors, which allows the artists to test acting choices for a younger version of themselves in real-time. “It is incredible to see Metaphysic’s AI-generated content flawlessly integrated into a shot live on set,” Baillie said.
Joanna Popper, chief metaverse officer at CAA, told The Hollywood Reporter the agency looks forward to working with Metaphysic, as its tech “combined with their ethics-first approach and thought leadership” could “unlock an incredible opportunity for the entertainment industry and beyond.”
Making an actor look younger through visual effects has been used in the past but continues to emerge in Hollywood in recent years.
De-aging technology first appeared on the scene in 2006 with X-Men: The Last Stand, where Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan appeared as younger versions of themselves, Yahoo reported.
Critically acclaimed director Martin Scorsese used the technology in 2020 for “The Irishman,” which de-aged the entire cast of Hollywood legends Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.
Disney announced last year the company developed artificial intelligence tools that can de-age actors with just one click in post-production.
Creators of the new “Indiana Jones” installment will also showcase a young Harrison Ford in a flashback sequence in the upcoming movie “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”
Metaphysic creators are set to move the new generative AI-driven cameras to de-age actors Hanks and Penn as they team up again with Zemeckis, who all originally worked on the 1994 classic “Forrest Gump.”
“Here” is set to release in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2024.